OakNorth completes loan to Wirefox Real Estate Group to support the acquisition of the Ardgowan Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland

  • The Ardgowan Hotel is a 3-star hotel located in the heart of St Andrews, within walking distance of the University of St Andrews and the world-famous Old Course;
  • The capital from OakNorth Bank was used to assist with the acquisition of the hotel by Wirefox, a real estate investment and development company, with a growing hotel portfolio through it’s Marram brand;
  • Scotland was named as the World’s Best Golf Destination at the 2022 World Golf Awards, so Wire fox is optimistic of 2023 being a bumper year in tourism for the market.

OakNorth, the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has provided a business loan to Wirefox Real Estate Group (“Wirefox”) to part-fund the acquisition of The Ardgowan Hotel in St Andrews.
The Ardgowan Hotel is a Scottish Tourist Board 3-star rated accommodation, centrally located within walking distance of the University of St Andrews and the world-famous Old Course. The B-listed Georgian townhouse was designed by Scottish architect George Rae, and the hotel comprises of 29 en-suite bedrooms, with a further seven in the adjoining Pilmour hotel. Its Playfair’s Restaurant and Steakhouse has been awarded an AA Rosette every year since 2015, and the hotel also has a bar and outdoor terrace. The hotel has been family operated for the last two decades, and managed to continue operating through the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded in 2014, Wirefox is a real estate investment and development company across asset classes (commercial, retail, hotel, and residential) with a concentration on the UK and Irish markets.

Kathryn Robinson, Investment Director at Wirefox, commented:

“With Scotland having recently been named the world’s best golfing destination, we’re delighted to be adding the Ardgowan to our growing hotel portfolio. The team at OakNorth were highly collaborative and have an in-depth understanding of this asset class. The service experienced with Oaknorth was excellent and they assisted with delivering this transaction at pace.”

Damien Hughes, Senior Director of Property Finance at OakNorth Bank, continued:

“St Andrews is home to 11 golf courses, including seven championship courses, meaning it attracts over 1.24m overnight visitors each year. We are confident that the year ahead will be a bumper year for Scottish golf tourism. Wirefox has acquired, designed, and developed over £1bn of property since inception, and the team is highly experienced in asset acquisitions, development, leasing, property management, debt capital markets, and marketing”.

OakNorth Bank was supported on the transaction by law firm, Shoosmiths.


Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc
Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

Since its launch, the bank has:
• Lent over £8.5B, directly helping with the creation of 37,000 new jobs and 27,000 new homes across the UK.
• Raised deposits from c.175,000 savers.
• Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Valentina Kristensen, Director, Growth & Communications – [email protected] / [email protected] / 0757 234 9009

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